Absolute Power Leads to Corruption

Categories: Animal Farm

George Orwell’s Animal Farm examines the insidious ways in which public officials can abuse their power, as it depicts a society in which democracy dissolves into autocracy and finally into totalitarianism. This also tells of the theme “Absolute power leads to corruption,” mainly shown by Napolean and The Farmer’s behavior. As a result of their power, they become greedy and rich, not caring about the important wishes of others, to show what happened in the Russian Revolution.

The first piece of evidence that shows the theme is Napoleans’s behavior.

Napolean was a boar that was always in a constant stalemate with the other boar Snowball. In the beginning, Napolean made it seem like he disregarded the power, which we found to not be true. To give himself power, he displays the dogs and chases Snowball off the farm, as shown in the quote, “At this . . . nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball.

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. . .” Additionally, it is found out that the other pigs are changing the 7 commandments, the rules, for their and Napoleans’ benefit, and to keep their outrageous actions within means. This can be shown in one of many quotes, which is, “…They had all thought the Fifth Commandment was “No animal shall drink alcohol,” but there were two words they had forgotten. The Commandment read: “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess…” and the quote “A FEW days later, when the terror caused by the executions had died down, some of the animals remembered−or thought they remembered−that the Sixth Commandment decreed ‘No animal shall kill any other animal… It ran: ‘No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.

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” This tells us that Napolean’s behavior is an example of “Absolute power leads to corruption” because of how he is ruling. He is ruling the government as though it is a tyranny, a government with an absolute dictator. With all of his ways as shown by the quotes, it tells us of a person who is misusing the power bestowed upon him. This is what the theme is highlighting, with Napolean getting the full authority, he made the near-perfect democracy of Animal Farm fall apart, with the abuse of his power.

The Next Example of the theme has a lesser impact but was implied in the story, the farmers. Mr. Jones was corrupt from the beginning, with the quote, “Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength, and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty.” (Pg.3). This characterizes Mr. Jones as a character who is greedy and money-hungry since he takes so much for only minimal food and a stable. This to me sounds like slave labor, which again says he is greedy and money-hungry. This is also shown in the quote, “Mr. Jones of the Manor Farm had locked the hen-houses for the night but was too drunk to remember to.” (Pg.1). The first sentence tells us that Mr. Jones doesn’t care about the animals, as he was too drunk to do so. The other farmers are no exception, as shown by the quote, “At heart, each of them (farmers) were secretly wondering whether they could not somehow turn Jones’s misfortune to his advantage.” (pg.24) This shows how they feel no remorse or pity for their friend, but how they only feel greed and power.

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Absolute Power Leads to Corruption. (2022, May 27). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/645193-essay

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